Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cockatoo Island

I was photographing some bullshit stiletto race in the Quay which stank of money and corporate sponsorship, not to mention downright demeaning to women, so I made a gettaway via ferry which dropped by Cockatoo Island, a little re-discovered abandoned patch on the Parramatta River. They used to build big ships there back in the days of black and white. The baby had finally fallen asleep on my chest from the swell of the ferry casting him about, I took my chance, took my leave and pushed the stroller ashore. I need some yin to the yang of 245 women running in high heels.

found myself sucked into a 200m long sandstone tunnel to get some shade. It was eerie, speakers played creepy music as you walked under the wooden pillars that supported the low roof of 'Dog Leg Tunnel', cause it had a big bend in the middle I guessed. Finally we popped out the end into that Spring sun that's taking some getting used to, and found myself wondering what to do next.

This was a Biennale of Sydney location showcasing artworks from around the globe, but the backdrop stole the show. It was like the abandoned mine in 'Thomas the Tank Engine'. It was the perfect place for Scooby Doo Mystery Mayhem, it reeked of an olde worlde forgotten time. Huge factory shells dripping with industrial leftovers. Mega machines lay dusty and rusty.

I'm always amazed by the big scale of men
and their ways, how they build things, shift enormous chunks of machinery around the globe, whether it be a ship or a bridge or a building, they seem unafraid of scale. Why, women get to give birth, that's pretty amazing too.

The more I walk around this decrepit island, the mood starts to infiltrate me, the privacy and dusty corners are filled with floating particles of light that dance and take me to a lost quiet. The stiletto race washes away and I'm thinking about form and light for a change, not celebrity and exclusives, nor cheesy Opera House backdrops and whether some girl is sexy enough to sell a shot.

Why do people do anything?

Why do I toil at all, when I anything I look back on that once gave me pride, I don't feel any connection to it like I do at the moment of execution of creation, it's the doing that counts, not the memory. I get riled looking at old family photos because they are essentially useless, they only stir up muddy emotions, blow a wistful air in my ear, brag of a time that has passed. Why do I even take photos at all?

Mmmmmm, I start to think, this would make a terrific location for a shoot.....shove a pretty woman in front of this stuff and print the cash. Then suddenly there are other photographers next to me, with more expensive large format cameras, like a reoccuring nightmare, they've even bought their cute girlfriend. I breath and force myself to focus on focal points.

And tonal ranges, shadows, blacks, colour temperatures.....

I see a sign that says 'no photography', oops. I presume they mean of the artworks, which I've neglected to actually notice most of, so I try a little harder. It makes me think about the artists, and their current mood, or maybe their mood next week when the Biennale is over and it's all just a dream. All this hard work, just a dream. I think, did he have fun making that sculpture of a crocodile out of what are they.... rooftop capsules????

Somebody made this, they took lots of time to specially write out all the different measurements, to file something that made something, that made something.....and so on it goes, like ants in the nest, we are but put on this earth to roll little balls of dirt about because that is what we do. The rain can wash it away at any time, but it's that drive to do that we follow till the heart stops.

Why does the light of an open doorway appeal to me, why is it my job to notice it? I start to think that I'm ready for my old career back, the last baby is a boy now, but this boy starts to stir in his stroller and upon wakening fully throws himself onto the concrete and wham, I'm back in the day job, fully. But whilst he dreamt that 45 minutes away, so did I.